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« Thoughts on Being Catholic (Year 16) | Main | NewsWeak - "Well, That About Wraps It Up For God" »

March 25, 2008

Comments

Terence M. Stanton

A.M.D.G.

How do you know it's a real picture? How does anyone know that anything you see on the internet hasn't been altered? I'm certainly not an expert on photography or altering pictures but perhaps someone could enlighten those of us who are not as savvy how one ever knows the difference between what is real and what is a fake.

nick

I know its at Paul vi hall (where they hold papal audiences indoors. I don't know what the 'art' is behind the pope. I watched the rosary with university students and was curious as to what that the sculpture was but a quick Internet search didnt give any insight.

It is real it is not a fake picture.

CNote98

It's a photo of a Papal Audience in the Pope Paul VI Audience Hall in Vatican City.
The sculpture is just a huge backdrop.
My guess is that B16 is giving a blessing ann the one reading from the book is translating the message into one of the few tongues that B16 doesn't know.
Also, if given notice, they will announce the presence of pilgrim groups. So, B16 may jsut be waving to the group in the audience being recognized.

Deusdonat

This is a church in Rome near the Vatican. I don't remember the name. I went there years ago for the annual mass to address the children of Rome when JP II was pope. And yes, it is very modern looking inside; a carryover from the legacy of Paul IV.

By the way....did ANYONE here catch that Benedict did NOT use the "crooked cross" monstrosity during Easter??? Throughout holy week, he used a regular, normal, nice, gold, beautiful, wonderful cross! Praise be to God!

The end of an ugly era. God bless Pope Benedict!!

SDG

Thanks, Nick. Do you (or anyone else) know more about the content of the sculpture?

Deusdonat

My apologies, I was wrong and the previous posters are right, it was not a church, but actually a hall. I even got the V and I mixed up in my post regarding Paul VI. Early morning for me. Plus, I was just a tyke at the time, so my memory may be a bit rusty there. I just remember it was huge to me then (and there were LOTS of us kids there).

Matheus F. Ticiani

SDG

I found something about the photo, but not about the sculpture.

Brian Day

The sculpture is titled "The Resurrection" by the sculptor Perricle Fazzini and debuted in 1977.

Here is Fazzini's obituary where they discuss the sculpture.
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B0DE4DD123DF936A35751C1A961948260NYT

Deusdonat

Interestingly, you might also want to review the posts on http://wdtprs.com/blog/2008/01/get-away-from-him-you-xxxxx/>FR Z's blog.

Matheus F. Ticiani

Thanks Brian

He's right.

Deusdonat

for those who don't read Italian:

"The Resurrection" (1972 - 1977), a large bronze of 20x7x3 meters set in the Nervi room in the Vatican, of whose execution took 5 years, is his most notable and complex work from the conceptual and structural point of view, arrival point of his career and expression of his poetic nature, the most immediate expresion and most adherent to his idea of sculpture which are strongly concretized in the language of a solid medium drawn unnervingly from an expressionist standpoint, moving and fluid, free and dynamic.

"La Resurrezione" (1972-77), un grande bronzo di m. 20x7x3 collocato nella sala Nervi in Vaticano, per l’esecuzione della quale occorsero cinque anni, è la sua opera maggiormente nota e complessa sia dal punto di vista concettuale che strutturale, punto d’arrivo della sua carriera e acme della sua poetica, l’espressione più immediata e più aderente alla sua idea di scultura, che si concretizza attraverso un linguaggio fortemente plastico, a tratti inquietamente espressionista, mosso e fluido, libero e dinamico.

Matheus F. Ticiani

I don't read Italian, either. That was the first link I found after a quick search.

Deusdonat

Awe, see? With a name like "Ticiani" you could have faked it : P

Matheus F. Ticiani

I have an Italian name, but I'm Brazilian, for that matter.

Deusdonat

'ta bom. Agora eu tambem me considero meio Paulista : )

Ed Peters

Yeah, it's atrocious, and nobody in the Vatican has the guts to tear it down.

What is it, btw, with this craze for empty space in Vatican meetings? They look ridiculous.

ps: Happy Easter.

Matheus F. Ticiani

Deusdonat
De onde você é, então?

Deusdonat

Yeah, it's atrocious, and nobody in the Vatican has the guts to tear it down.

I wouldn't put anything past Benny. They are building a new hall as we speak, so I wouldn't be surprised if it is torn down and relegated to a museum somewhere in our lifetimes.

MATHEUS

Eu sou do país que tem forma de bota : ) Mas morava em São Paulo por um tempo. Estive lá o ano passado por carnaval (mas em Porto Seguro). Como vc adivinharia, gosto muito : )

 still Catholic for now

I am posting due to the following comment from above:

By the way....did ANYONE here catch that Benedict did NOT use the "crooked cross" monstrosity during Easter??? Throughout holy week, he used a regular, normal, nice, gold, beautiful, wonderful cross! Praise be to God!

The end of an ugly era. God bless Pope Benedict!!

----------------

Ugly eh? The weight of the Cross is what causes the bowed or as you call it "crooked"

If the weight of the Cross is at all a problem for you, and causing you to see it as ugly, maybe you don't have the right to have been saved by it

SDG

S.C.F.N.: Nobody has the "right" to be saved by the Cross. That's why it's being saved.

Ever heard the phrase De gustibus non est disputandum? Loosely translated, it means people are allowed to express their aesthetic opinions without having their salvation or their worthiness called into question.

Combox participants are requested to follow Da Rulz, starting with #1. Thank you.

Deusdonat

I find that piece of art ugly. I find the representation of Jesus as a gobbled, featureless stick-figure ugly. I find the betrayal of centuries of art and iconography ugly. And I especially find your sentiments on presuming who does or does not have the "right" to be saved particularly ugly.

Matheus F. Ticiani

Deusdonat,

I haven't seen the crooked cross for quite some time, but I think it's quite cute, even if only as a reminder of the late John Paul the Great. There may be even beauty in the fact the he used a crooked cross in front of himself in his last days, when the poor servant of God's own body was crooked.

Brian Day

I know that it is bad form to reply to your own posting, but this line from the linked article has to be highlighted.

The Vatican commissioned Mr. Fazzini to provide a work for its modern auditorium. The result was ''The Resurrection,'' a statue depicting Jesus rising from a nuclear bomb crater.

I would scrap the piece just on that alone.

sinner

SDG,
I thought the phrase was "de gustibus non disputandum est"- in matters of taste, there is no argument. I've been known to be wrong...

J.R. Stoodley

While taste differs because people differ (some people prefer Gothic architecture while others prefer Romanesque, for example), I for one believe in objective beauty, and I really don't think that sculpture has any. I can possibly see a validity in producing ugly crucifixes, because the crucifixion was an ugly thing after all, but an ugly, vaguely disturbing ressurection? It's a monstrosity and I hope they get rid of it soon. I've seen pictures of the rest of the Paul VI hall and it is rather ugly as well.

SDG

I'm no Latin scholar, sinner, but AFAIK the word order doesn't matter -- it's written both ways.

Karl

I have not read all the comments about this article, but could this location be the large, modern hall on the grounds of the Vatican? I was there this summer, while visiting with my son who lived in Rome for most of last year, to see the investiture of new Swiss Guards and this reminds me of what I remember seeing as the stage. This is only a guess however. Perhaps some of you who have been there a few times might be able to comment?

Thanks.

Catholic Bibliophagist

I never would have guessed it was supposed to represent the Resurrection. The figure looks like it has a dinosaur head. Maybe it's just the lighting in this particular photo.

Deusdonat

Sinner, SDG is correct. The original phrase is "De gustibus non est disputandum." This phrase was misquoted by another member here on line in an earlier discussion to the form you stated. Whilst putting the verb at the end of the sentence is still good Latin grammar, it does change the emphasis of the original statement. Since verbs are generally conjugated in the begining of the sentence in English, the closest analogy I could draw would be to say:

"Tomorrow, I'm going to the store." which puts emphasis on the place (i.e. the store as opposed to a brothel). Whilst "I'm going to the store tomorrow." Which puts emphasis on the fact that someone is going to the store tomorrow, as opposed to today or 3 months from now. This is probably a bad example, but in my limited command of English, it's the best I could do, and I hope I made the point regarding the Latin phrase.

MATTHEUS, actually we were discussing that Pope Benedict (may God bless him!) has been carrying the crooked cross until very recently. It's somewhat ironic that you should associate it with JP II, since HE claims he carried it to associate himself with Paul VI. His papacy was probably before your time (mine too). And regarding your other statement, IMHO I think JP II stayed in the papacy far longer than his body or nature wanted him to. I shake my head in saddness at the possibilities were our blessed Pope Benedict to have those few extra years.

Deusdonat

BRIAN I know that it is bad form to reply to your own posting, but this line from the linked article has to be highlighted.

Tut, tut my good chap. Since when do any of us stand on proper form in these discussions?


Hosts excepted : P

SDG

And regarding your other statement, IMHO I think JP II stayed in the papacy far longer than his body or nature wanted him to. I shake my head in saddness at the possibilities were our blessed Pope Benedict to have those few extra years.

I am sure Pope Benedict would disagree with you. :‑) And both he and JP2 would say that it was the good Lord who wanted JP2 to suffer through those last few years, doubtless for the good of the Church and the world. So you can take it up with Him. :‑)

LarryD

IMHO, I think the object waving around Christ's head represents the cloth used to enshroud his head when he was buried.

Matheus F. Ticiani

SDG

I also think Divine Providence played a role in the final years of JP2. If I remember well, the entire world was witnessing his suffering, at the end of the 2005 Lenten season, at the same time of the end of the horrible Terri Schiavo affair. If I'm not mistaken, his death ocurred a few days apart from hers.

Deusdonat

Excuse me for my ignorance. I wrote that because I associate, visually, the crooked cross with the crooked body of JP2 at the end of his life. I didn't even knew it had belonged to Paul VI, whose pontificate, you guessed right, was before my time (I was born in 1982). Thanks for your attention.

Eileen R

I'm hesitant to say this, but I really like it. And usually I'm with y'all groaning in the corner but not this time.

Still I think I'm interpreting it wrong

The result was ''The Resurrection,'' a statue depicting Jesus rising from a nuclear bomb crater.

Because I had no idea it was a nuclear bomb crater. I thought it was Jesus rising in front of a beautiful forest. And that might say something about the piece right there, I suppose. But it looks so much like a forest!

Gerard Schlundt

Your comments about DIGG couldn't be more right. I've often considered ripping the telephone line right out of the wall after visitng that site. It amazes me how crude, and stupid people can be when on a public forum.

This is probably the best example of why I believe a democracy will never work -- Sorry Mr. Chesterton.

Deusdonat

SDG, I don't know if Pope Benedict (may God bless him!) would agree or disagree. His actions have sure been a radical departure from JP II's pontificate, despite the early "marketing" as a continuation of it.

For all its good and necessity, the Vatican is at times a hot-bed of politics and intrigue, rivaling the politburo at the time of Stalin. So, we rarely know what people inside the magesterium think until they act. Then we can speculate.

EILEEN theree is absolutely NO NEED to apologize for liking that piece of art. I think it really is sad that conversations on subjects like this degenerate into personal attacks simply for expression of taste in one direction or another. And I also find it odd that some of the same people who ridicule and denounce this artistic portrayal of Jesus for some reason adore the broken cross depiction of Jesus and decry and condemn anyone who doesn't like it a hellbound heretic or apostate.

Yes, to each his or her own. And we should respect that regardless without challenging anyone's faith or taste.

UDFlyingCatholic

Just wanted to add that, most likely, this is not a Mass. Neither the Holy Father or the other clerics are vested. I think the poster who said that this is a blessing of sorts is more on target. Possibly an audience.

Personally, the art is not to my liking. I can see how others might like it--its displays a certain skill and presents a clearer message than most of the modern trash that covers the mostly bleak walls of our "Maytag" churches of today.

As far as the suffering of Pope John Paul II is concerned, I think that to disregard the merits of the world seeing his suffering and the graces his sufferings as the Shepard of the Church brought upon the world flys in the face of all we know and believe as Catholics regarding human suffering.

May God continue to bless this Holy Father and all those who serve the Holy See with an unquenchable zeal for holiness.

Just my two cents...(as a college student, that's quite a bit of change you know.)

Scott W.

"debuted in 1977"

That explains the ugliness.

Barbara

By the way....did ANYONE here catch that Benedict did NOT use the "crooked cross" monstrosity during Easter??? Throughout holy week, he used a regular, normal, nice, gold, beautiful, wonderful cross! Praise be to God!

It's the crosier used by Pius IX and Pius XII.

Dean Steinlage

It took a good night's sleep and a second look, but now I can see the face on the piece.
I'm with Eileen R. on this one, kind of interesting.

ASimpleSinner

"Benedict did NOT use the "crooked cross" monstrosity during Easter??? "

I am sorry, but as much of a fan of traditional appointments as I am, and as pleased as I have been with B16, and as much as I respect his tastes, the "crooked" cross comments are something I find really annoying.

For many of us, that cross was a trademark and symbol of the papacy of JP2 even though it predates his pontificate. To see it reminds us of him, and I actually replaced the cheap wodden cross on my cheap wooden bead rosary with a recreation of it in love, affection and rememberence of SOG JP2.

B16 has great taste and has the right to pick new appointments - or in this case older ones that are newly out of the collection of the Vatican... But the manifold comments I have read - some of which are just nasty - about the old cross is just getting on my nerves.

Deusdonat

Barbara, THANK YOU for that update! It definitely makes sense.

A Simple Sinner,

Maybe you should ask yourself why artistic critiques of a piece of metal are touching a nerve with you? It is just an object. The same with Pope Benedict's (may God bless him!) current crossier. It is just an object. Both carry symbolism and sentimental value, as does the piece in question for this post arguably. But they are all just objects. Nothing more. To associate anything else to them is to come dangerously close to idolotry. So, if speaking on the artistic merits (or lack thereof) regarding the cross-bow crossier "get on your nerves", then you may have deeper theological issues to address here.

UDFlyingCatholic

Deusdonat,

Perhaps I'm sticking my nose where it doesn't belong...but I hardly think that SimpleSinner is anywhere close to idolatry.

The critiques of the "crooked cross" crosier were hardly parts of an artistic discussion. With words like "montrosity" being thrown around, it's easy to see how someone might construe a personal attack. The crooked cross is a sign and reminder of JPII and is held very dear to many of his admirers.

Words mean things...words like "monstrosity" and "idolotry" ecspecially.

Maybe, as good Catholics, we could tone down the rhetoric a bit.

Pax.

UDFlyingCatholic

woops...IDOLOTRY not IDOLATRY.

Deusdonat

UDFC I gotcha, misspellings and all : )

A critique of a piece of art is not a critique of JP II's papacy. It is a critique of his taste, and that is not infallible (far from it IMHO). At the risk of repeating myself, the crooked-crossier is a monstrosity. It looks like a piece of metal salvaged from a bad fire. There are no recognizable features on Our Savior, who looks like a stick figure. It neither shows Him as a man, nor as a deity. It is ugly, aesthetically and iconically. It is an insult and a slap in the face to thousands of years of church art and iconography. However, I am certain this is obviously not the reason JP II chose to carry it. As he said, he carried it as a reminder of the papacy of Paul VI, the implementer of the Novus Ordo (surprise, surprise). I honestly think the creator of the cross-bow crossier did so for shock value, very much like the artistic piece in question; showing Jesus rising from a nuclear bomb site.

Anyway, once again, I feel with all my heart that the crooked-crossier is a monstrosity. This does NOT mean it is sacriligious, and I have never said it is. So, there is nothing to be offended by. This is not rhetoric, but an opinion, which both you, I and anyone else posting here within "da rulz" are free to give.

Ed Peters

That does it: Eileen and everybody who agrees with her is going to Hell. Condemned for terrible taste in art. I speak as a saint with infallible taste in art to boot, so I know.

ps: SDG, your rendering of De gustibus is fine, the nuance is not there IS nothing to debate about taste, but that taste is not WORTH debating, and that one should not TRY to debate. art and taste being distinguishabel, of course.

Brian Day

Ed Peters,

How DARE you write that someone is going to h*ll. That is so...so...judgmental!
I'm going to ... hold my breath until you apologize to Eileen and the others who agree with her!


Brian Day

drats!

Typepad dropped the last of my post. Please add a "whiny voice" tag at the end. :)

Deusdonat

SDG's "rendering" was not only "fine", but it was the correct one; the actual quote and not a rendering.

The Satyricon suddenly comes to mind here...

Ed Peters

dd: "rendering" referred to the loose translation, not the quote itself, you know....:)

Ed Peters

is Brian blue yet? I'm going to hold my breath till he stops holding his. in the name of art, of course.

Deusdonat

ED, ahhhh. Then in the immortal words of Gilda Radner's Emily Litella character, "Never mind".

Brian Day

[queue whiny voice]

Ed,

I turned blue briefly until my wife put something shiny in front of me.
Oooh...shiny.

mattthew bellisario

That is definately in the Vatican Museum where the modern art hall is at. I saw it a few years ago when I was there. As to why B16 is there, you got me?

Ed Peters

i luved Gilda Radner's "Never mind". I use it about once a week myself.....:)

Paul

Deusdonat said:
"It is an insult and a slap in the face to thousands of years of church art and iconography."
"So, there is nothing to be offended by."

Huh?

You feel that the cross itself is an insult, yet take issue with those that are irritated by your insults.

Once again...

Huh?

ASimpleSinner

Forget it, just forget it.

Asking for a little charity in return brings this garbage on and it is hinted at that I am engaged in near idolotry.

"To associate anything else to them is to come dangerously close to idolotry. So, if speaking on the artistic merits (or lack thereof) regarding the cross-bow crossier "get on your nerves", then you may have deeper theological issues to address here."

Or it may be that in your writing you have a remarkably caustic and bombastic style.

Deusdonat

Paul, your cut and paste job above coupled with your ensuing comments lead the reader to false conclusions.

I do not find "THE" cross insulting. I find that particular cross "an insult and a slap in the face to thousands of years of church art and iconography". My point was people who like that cross should not be offended or insulted for me expressing my opinion on a piece of "art". The only one who should be offended (or in my opinion ashamed) should be the artist himself.

If I said something like, "JP II was a modernist for carrying an ugly abstract monstrosity" then THAT would be worthy of offense, since the insult would have been directed at JP II and his intent, rather than the piece itself. But I made no such remark, nor would I intend to.

Incidentally tho, JP II was quite the iconoclast.

Maryann

My immediate thought when looking at the sculpture was "trampling down death by death." I then read the combox responses to find out that it was the exact sentiment the sculptor hoped to convey. I'm not big on modern art, but as a piece of art I think it is kinda cool. Not something I'd expect to regularly see behind the pope, but nice texture and depth for photography.

Art has gone through so many changes throughout the history of the Church, and I'm sure will go through many more. It expresses the times, the culture, the ethos of the person who created it and his interaction with the world. It has a completely different purpose from iconography, which is intended to relate the truth of the heaven. Iconography is appropriate for sacred spaces where the icons will be treated with reverence. Art is appropriate for auditoriums. Art with a religious theme is appropriate for auditoriums use by religious people. I understand not liking the piece of art. I don't understand why it is worth such a fuss!

Marc

AMDG

After reading through all the comments, I'm not exactly sure what to add about the sculpture in Paul VI hall. I've seen it several times in the past when the Papal Audience was broadcast on EWTN, and I didn't pay much attention to it. It just looked like a display of interlaced wooden forms. Now that I've spent more time looking at it, I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I find some aspects of the piece (such as the way in which Jesus is portrayed and the suggestions of skulls and death) to be unnerving, but I can also appreciate the symbolism and richness of it.

With regard to the pastoral staff of Paul VI (I'll call it Paul VI's cross to avoid using overly negative adjectives), a few things came to mind. First, let me tell a short story:

A few years ago, I went on a pilgrimage to Italy and France with Bob and Penny Lord. Everyone who was travelling with them was given a name tag consisting of a plain piece of leather (with your name written on it) and a medium sized Paul VI's cross (~5" long). On the last day of the pilgrimage, when we had some free time in Paris, I went with my family to the Musee D'Orsay (an art museum), and as I was going through the metal detector at the door, I took off the name tag to avoid tripping things off. The security guard told me that it didn't have enough metal to be a concern, but then she added, "it's beautiful, though." What did this woman see in this cross that promted her to make such a comment? I couldn't say for certain, but I might guess that it was not so much the aesthetic appearance of it as the powerful statement of faith that it made.

I respect the view that this cross is a misguided departure from the long standing tradition of sacred art through the centuries, and I think that we need to be very careful about following the disastrous idea that "we live in a totally different era now, so none of the previous expressions of devotion and art are relevant anymore." On the other hand, I think that the point Maryann just made is well taken, that art and culture change over time, and indeed, I think new art forms that express the truth and mystery of our faith are worthy of attention. Some might argue that Paul VI's cross debases our faith, rather than expressing its richness, but I wouldn't necessarily agree. I think it is a powerful expression of the fact that Jesus really did suffer and die an excruciating death, being counted among the lowest criminals in order, ultimately, to conquer death and free us all from sin. Remember Isaiah 52:13-14 -

Behold, my servant shall prosper, he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high. As many were astonished at him - his appearance was so marred beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the sons of men...(RSV:CE)

Marc

SQ

Jesus is the vine.
Period.

Deusdonat

Marc, that is truly a touching story. You ask; What did this woman see in this cross that promted her to make such a comment? The answer seems clear here: your faith. She was more than likely saying, "it's beautiful that you hold a crucifix." I would have said the same thing. I have often commented on very genuine displays of faith which on the aesthetic side seem tacky or ugly. I actually collect such items (i.e. 3-D sacred heart of Jesus and Mary pictures).

And let's face it, a crucifix in itself is not a "beautiful" thing by definition; it is a rendition of a man brutally murdered. The beauty is in their symbolism and the fact that in this highly secular day and age people bother to carry around outward signs of faith. To that end, I will repeat once again, I am not judging Paul VI, JP II or anyone else for that matter for chosing to carry a replica of that particular cross. More power to you! I simply expressed an opinion on a purely artistic level.

e.

Somebody wrote: "Maybe you should ask yourself why artistic critiques of a piece of metal are touching a nerve with you? It is just an object. The same with Pope Benedict's (may God bless him!) current crossier. It is just an object. Both carry symbolism and sentimental value, as does the piece in question for this post arguably. But they are all just objects. Nothing more. To associate anything else to them is to come dangerously close to idolotry."

If memory serves, I recall Patrick Madrid inviting Protestant Christians at a talk of his to spit at this large crucifix that he was holding in order to prove a particular point.

Interesting how nobody dared to do so.

Those Protestant Christians were smart enough to realize that such things aren't just objects.

Deusdonat

E, an object which bears symbolism is VERY powerful. I don't think anyone can dispute this. Look at flags; battles and even wars have been fought over their desecration. And for most Christians, the cross (not just crucifix, but cross in countless forms and renditions) is the central and most recognizable symbol of our faith. But there was only ONE cross that actually bore the body of Our Lord. The rest are symbols which we use to remind us of our faith and are only as meaningful as the sentiment, honor and respect we give them.

And regarding your other comment, I always found the Protestant aversion to the crucifix a bit odd. The Fundies I have come across love to foam at the mouth and euphorically blather how they are "awash in the blood of the lamb" and "saved by the blood of calvary". But when it comes down to the sight of blood on a crucifix, or the concept of drinking it as Our Savior commands, they are in reality quite squeamish apparently.

Incidentally, did anyone hear how the http://www2.nysun.com/article/46707>Saudis tried to ban the letter X because they felt it looked too much like a cross?

St. Elizabeth of Cayce

SDG asks: Any other thoughts, guesses, speculation, opinion, knowledge?

The photo appears to be from a Papal General Audience, held Wednesday, March 4. A close friend was in attendance and shared photos with what appears to be the same clerics seated by the Holy Father, and the same cleric reading. As noted above, the location is the Paul VI Hall, with the prominent Fazzini sculture of the resurrection emerging from the background.

Is that enough detail?

St. Elizabeth of Cayce

Italics off?

italics off?

That is definitely Paul VI hall. I've been there and that horrible monstrosity is as depicted.

There is a concept called the "formlessness" is radically opposed to Christianity which epitomizes order.


where exists Formlessness, it was requisite that the various orders of created objects that had been confounded together should be distinguished by a separating process performed by Jesus"

God Bless,

Matt

Nathan Kennedy

Dear Lord, that looks like the alien queen!

philipofJMJ

Please go to www.JohnTheBaptist.us for a chance to save your soul. JMJ

ER

Is's a Satanic Simbol from the "Satan Slaves of 6 century" they issued in Black Magic, but it's obsulute normal. He is the "sin man" from 2Tes. its in the Bible.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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